Blake opens London 'excellence' hub and plans more

Rhys Handley
Monday, October 30, 2017

Blake Envelopes has opened its fourth 'hub of excellence', on the site of London’s newly opened Postal Museum, and announced a new partnership with the institution.

After opening its first hub in Edinburgh last year, the firm followed up with a second in Leeds in January and a third in Manchester in May. The new London hub was originally intended to be the first to open but was delayed to open with the new museum.

Blake initially only planned to open these four hubs, but has subsequently suggested more are in the offing.

“As you test a strategy, you push it to its limits to see how good it can be,” said operations manager Tim Browning.

“Reflecting on the success of our three previous branches and the anticipation for our new London offering, we are now looking to push the strategy further because we know that it works.”

Each hub is located to reinforce Blake’s growth strategy by making experts and samples easily accessible to customers who would otherwise face considerable travel times to reach its Yeovil headquarters. 

Whereas the other three hubs are rented office space, Blake is an official sponsor of the new museum in Clerkenwell and has been granted dedicated space on the premises.

The Postal Museum, opened in July this year, is supported by the Royal Mail Group, the Post Office and the Heritage Lottery Fund. Blake’s hub at the museum began hosting customers in October and is in the process of recruiting permanent staff.

blake-s-london-team-at-the-postal-museum-clerkenwell“To collaborate with the Postal Museum in this way is truly exciting,” said Blake managing director Michael Barter.

“The marriage of envelopes and stamps is a natural one but the history of the postal system combined with our expertise in envelopes and packaging will make for some really wonderful possibilities.”

Blake’s main goal remains continued growth, following the acquisition of Rapid Envelopes’ assets in April this year, which added 10% to the company’s annual turnover. Its first foray into UK manufacturing is “going very well”, according to Barter, as single-day shifts have been increased to doubles as a response to improving sales.

Barter said: “We are very pleased with the results of this acquisition. A lot is happening at Blake right now. If you look at what the industry is not doing at the moment, we are definitely not holding to the status quo.

“We are currently looking at other potential acquisitions, whether they end up being equipment or companies is still yet to be seen.

“We expect to make a more detailed announcement in the first quarter of next year.”

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